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Cleaning UpHow Hospital Outsourcing Is Hurting Workers and Endangering Patients$
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Dan Zuberi

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450723

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450723.001.0001

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Compromising Cleanliness

Compromising Cleanliness

How Outsourcing Keeps Hospital Workers from Doing Their Jobs

(p.36) 3 Compromising Cleanliness
Cleaning Up

Dan Zuberi

Cornell University Press

This chapter argues that outsourcing has made hospitals less clean and more vulnerable to outbreaks of infectious pathogens. It reveals some of troubling root causes that expose hospital staff and immunocompromised patients to these dangerous pathogens. When hospital support workers lack the adequate time, resources, training, and expertise to properly do their jobs, patients are at higher risk of getting a dangerous infection. Many hospital cleaners are dedicated to doing a good job, but remarkable obstacles stand in their way. Shortages in cleaning supplies are compounded by a shortfall of workers; in addition to saving money by cutting wages, many contractors cut the number of staff, too. Overall, outsourcing creates the wrong incentives when it comes to ensuring a sanitized environment.

Keywords:   hospital cleaners, contract workers, profit motives, understaffing, economic incentives, sanitized environment, hospital cleanliness

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